Review: “Sharpe’s Fury” by Bernard Cornwell

In between working on my own writing project and teaching university classes, sometimes I get a hankering for some good old fashioned military escapism. Sometimes it’s military sci-fi; other times it is historical.

I talked Shelly into visiting the local library this past weekend and I came across Bernard Cornwell’s book, Sharpe’s Fury. I had previously read Cornwell’s book on Agincourt and liked it, as well as his book on Vikings entitled The Last Kingdom. He’s a good writer. In addition, I had fallen in love with Spain when I wrote about the Spanish Civil War in my recent book, Never Say Die.

Here’s the Amazon summary:

In the winter of 1811, the war seems lost. Spain has fallen to the French, except for Cadiz, now the Spanish capital and itself under siege. Inside the city walls an intricate diplomatic dance is taking place and Richard Sharpe faces more than one enemy.

The small British force is trapped by a French army, and their only hope lies with the outnumbered redcoats outside refusing to admit defeat. There, in the sweltering horror of Barrosa, Sharpe will meet his old enemy Colonel Vandal once again.

Cornwell didn’t disappoint with this book. Early on, I discovered that it was book 11 in a series of 20 books about Richard Sharpe, a British soldier who starts off fighting in India and later fights the French under Napoleon in Spain.

It’s a very fast read: I think I finished it in three days, even with working. And even though it is 333 pages, it’s not long, not like the books I’ve been reading. Further, it’s not dense reading. In fact, it was very enjoyable and entertaining and just the kind of book you would want to read if you have a lot of other things on your mind and just need to escape once in a while.

I’ve already made up my mind that I am going to go back and start the series with book one with Richard Sharpe as a private fighting in India. It was a lot of fun, and well worth the read.

Five of five stars.

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